• Recent Results (April 2012)

    Posted March 29, 2012 By in Recent Results With | No Comments

    The results mentioned are representative and do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

    EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a southern California City in an action brought by a retired Finance Officer alleging a single claim of whistleblower retaliation pursuant to Section 1102.5 of the California Labor Code. Recognizing that the vast majority of the retiree’s claims did not constitute violations of state or federal law—the necessary predicate under Section 1102.5—and that many of his other claims of retaliation failed to constitute adverse employment actions as a matter of law, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith took the former employee’s deposition and drafted a comprehensive motion for summary judgment, which was subsequently granted by the Court. By employing our expertise in employment law, and specifically in whistleblower retaliation claims, not only did Bergman Dacey Goldsmith terminate the former employee’s case, but we were able to recoup an award of incurred costs to offset some of the City’s costs in defending this matter to a successful end. In the end, the entire cost of disposing of this case constituted less than 10% of the damages claimed, with the employee owing costs to the City.
    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a southern California City in an action brought by a terminated police officer alleging various Constitutional claims and discrete violations of the California Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act in conjunction with his termination. After investigating the claims and confirming that California law strongly protects public entities against claims brought on the facts particular to this matter, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith – before even incurring the expense of filing a responsive pleading – negotiated an early resolution so that the City could avoid incurring any significant litigation fees or costs. The combined effect of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s expertise of the applicable law, combined with deft negotiation skills, resulted in a resolution of the matter for a de minimis sum compared to the anticipated damage claim. Such sum constituted a mere fraction of the fees and costs that would have been incurred by the City had this matter proceeded to litigation and trial.
    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a fast food restaurant and its owner in a lawsuit filed by a former employee who alleged eleven causes of action, including wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, fraudulent concealment, unfair business practices, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith quickly obtained all relevant documents related to the claims, evaluated the merit of the claims, and was able to negotiate a settlement, the value of which was 30% of the former employee’s original demand. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s efficient handling also significantly reduced the legal expenses incurred by the client.

    FACILITIES AND CONSTRUCTION LITIGATION

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a school district (“District”) in an enforcement of a stop notice action related to a multi-million dollar school modernization project filed against it by a subcontractor. Due to circumstances not within the control of the District, the subcontractor alleged that it was not paid by the general contractor and sought to enforce a stop notice against the District. At minimal litigation expense to the District, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to negotiate and procure the dismissal of the District from the subcontractor’s lawsuit without the District having to expend any funds to settle the matter.

    TEACHER DISMISSAL

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represents a large southern California school district in a teacher dismissal action. When the teacher attempted to modify his pled affirmative defenses merely days before the discovery cutoff, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith filed a motion to continue the hearing for good cause to conduct discovery on the newly pled defenses. When the tribunal denied the motion, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith immediately drafted and filed ex parte papers with the Los Angeles Superior Court to stay the dismissal matter, and then commenced a writ proceeding to obtain an order from the Superior Court compelling the underlying tribunal to provide the school district with more time to conduct discovery. The Superior Court issued a writ of mandate providing the school district with all of its requested relief. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s responsiveness preserved the status quo in the lower tribunal, while safeguarding the school district’s procedural rights, ultimately assisting the school district with its preparation for the dismissal hearing itself.
    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a large southern California school district in a teacher dismissal action. The teacher was accused of unprofessional conduct and other related charges. Because the district’s case was built around circumstantial evidence, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith immediately began interviewing key witnesses and assembling as strong an evidentiary position to bring into a settlement conference with the accused teacher. Once presented with this evidence, the teacher conceded her case and agreed to resign in exchange for a modest settlement payment as consideration. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s responsiveness and litigation planning kept the district far ahead of the teacher and her counsel as the dismissal hearing approached, and ensured that the ultimate goal—the teacher’s separation—was achieved at modest expense.

    BUSINESS LITIGATION

    1. A worldwide financial firm retained Bergman Dacey Goldsmith on the Friday before the 3-day Christmas weekend to file a lawsuit and obtain a temporary restraining order against one of its former branch managers, who had recently resigned without notice and gone to work for a competitor. The former branch manager was accused of having misappropriated confidential and trade secret information by e-mailing it to his home computer, and then using that information to solicit the client’s customers and employees. Working through the holiday weekend, the lawyers at Bergman Dacey Goldsmith interviewed the key witnesses and marshaled the available evidence, drafted the necessary complaint, researched the applicable law, prepared an application for a TRO and Order to Show Cause re Preliminary Injunction together with supporting documents to present the relevant evidence and the controlling legal authorities, and–within 5 days of being retained—went to court to present the TRO application to a judge. Upon considering the TRO application and the supporting papers, the court issued an immediate restraining order by which the former branch manager was prohibited from initiating contact with the client’s customers or employees and was directed to make all of his electronic devices capable of storing information available for inspection and cleansing within a week. The former branch manager was also ordered to return to the client, within a week, all confidential or trade secret information he had taken.
    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a private defendant in a collection matter. This matter involved thousands of dollars, as well as the collector’s persistent efforts to recover the interest and penalties associated with the alleged amount owed. After months of intense negotiations with the collector, the matter was settled for an amount that did not include penalties and/or interest on the amount owed, both costs the client could have owed if the matter proceeded to trial.

    CLASS ACTION LITIGATION

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith defended a Southern California City in a class action lawsuit where the Plaintiff alleged that the City had failed to provide the proper amount of time to contest parking citations for years, thereby causing numerous individuals to be improperly charged late fees on parking citations. The City’s potential exposure was in the millions of dollars. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith attorneys aggressively litigated the mater to set up favorable settlement negotiations. Through Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s litigation and negotiation efforts the City settled the matter for approximately 1% of its potential liability exposure. Further, after settlement was achieved, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to cost effectively manage the terms of the class action settlement, including all required class action notice and payment procedures.

  • Recent Results (November 2011)

    Posted November 2, 2011 By in Recent Results With | No Comments

    The results mentioned are representative and do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

    FACILITIES AND CONSTRUCTION

    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a community college district in a multi-million dollar construction defect action related to the District’s new learning resource center (“LRC”). The District claimed that the prime glazing contractor and its subcontractors had constructed a building that suffered from numerous defects, including that the building was not weather-tight. In turn, the prime contractor alleged that the District owed the contractor over one million dollars for unpaid extra work claims. After aggressively pursuing the case in court, and engaging in multiple mediation sessions, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully settled the action with all the defendants before trial. The District recovered 100% of its costs to repair the LRC, as well as a substantial portion of its attorneys’ fees. Further, the glazing contractor received nothing by way of its cross-claim.
    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s school district client contracted to build gymnasiums at four of its middle schools. The gyms were constructed with vinyl sports flooring laid over a concrete slab. Soon after the gyms opened, the floors failed, as a result of moisture intrusion, and several repair efforts were unsuccessful. The school district hired attorneys who filed suit against the construction manager, the concrete contractor, the flooring contractor and its subs, and the manufacturer of materials used to seal the concrete slab. After two years of litigation and mediation produced no satisfactory settlement proposals, the school district discharged its attorneys and retained Bergman Dacey Goldsmith to take over the case. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith developed and carried out a strategy to fully prepare the case for trial while simultaneously engaging in mediation with the construction manager, the responsible trade contractors, and the manufacturer of materials used to seal the concrete. After years of litigation and more than a dozen mediation sessions, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith negotiated a series of cash settlements with the responsible parties. These settlements, when added to earlier settlements with contractors responsible for other problems in the gyms, enabled the district to achieve a total recovery of more than four million dollars. This amount will enable the district to fix the flooring problems and recoup a significant portion of the attorneys’ fees incurred in the litigation.
    • In consolidated actions by several contractors arising from a construction project where a defaulting owner and its construction lender failed to pay the contractors for work performed (including Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s clients – the prime contractor and general contractor on the project), Bergman Dacey Goldsmith took the “lead” on the cases and convinced the presiding judge to bifurcate the actions to try certain legal issues first. This approach limited litigation costs and, among other things, through persuasive motion work, was able to convince the construction lender to settle all of the claims, not only as to Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s clients, but also as to all of the other claimants on the project, resulting in a successful resolution of the actions with controlled litigation fees and costs.
    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a school district in related actions brought against two firms contracted to provide architectural services and project management services for a public works modernization and relocation project under a bond construction program. The project’s general contractor brought an action against the District that resulted in a monetary judgment against the District. The dispute between the firms and the District related to the parties’ respective responsibilities for the losses suffered by the District in the underlying action. The District sought to recover its losses from both firms under indemnity and other legal theories. Through mediation with the firms and their respective insurance carriers, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith negotiated a substantial monetary recovery with both firms and non-monetary items from the architectural firm. This resolution resulted in significant savings by avoiding the expense of trial preparation and two trials.
    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a southern California city in an action involving a subcontractor which alleged breach of contract and payment bond claims against a prime contractor involving a California public works construction project. After a thorough analysis of the claims alleged against the client, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith negotiated a favorable settlement, which ultimately resulted in a dismissal of the entire action, with prejudice, as to all parties and causes of action. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s expertise and litigation strategy employed in this matter resulted in the client being dismissed without having to contribute any monetary amount to the settlement of the case.
    • Promptly following the filing of a direct and forceful pleading against the responsible parties that damaged our public entity client’s property, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith immediately initiated negotiations with the party defendants and was able to secure a favorable settlement for our client, prior to any party defendant needing to file any responsive pleading to our client’s action. As a result of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith, Inc’s strong and disciplined negotiation strategy, our client recovered monetary damages without incurring any significant litigation expenses.
    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a southern California city in an action brought by a local business alleging various Constitutional and tort claims as a result of purported business-related damages arising out of a public works project to replace and resurface a major thoroughfare adjacent to this business. After investigating the claims and confirming that California law strongly protects public entities against suits of this nature, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith negotiated a discovery moratorium so that the parties could attend mediation before incurring additional litigation fees and costs. The combined effect of Bergman Dacey Goldsmith, Inc’s expertise of the applicable law, combined with the mediator’s strong push on the business to settle, resulted in a resolution of the matter for under five percent of the business’ original damages claim, a number constituting a mere fraction of the fees and costs that would have been incurred by the City had this matter proceeded to trial.

    BUSINESS LITIGATION

    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith defended a former majority shareholder and CEO of an IT staffing company in a majority shareholder breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant had received excessive compensation from the company without making necessary disclosures to all shareholders. By alleging crossclaims against other individuals so that other parties would bear the burden of any settlement and by showing the weakness of plaintiff’s case through the discovery process, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to settle the action for three percent of the plaintiff’s initial demand against our client.

    LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT

    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a City in a lawsuit arising out of the City’s Council’s decision to separate a City police officer from employment after it was found that the officer violated various provisions of the City’s General Orders governing officer conduct. The officer filed a petition for writ of mandate arguing that: (1) the City Council lacked jurisdiction to review the conclusions, findings, and recommendations of the City’s Civil Service Board of Review (“Board”); (2) the City Council improperly raised and decided a new charge of dishonesty in determining to separate the officer’s employment; and (3) the evidence did not support the finding of dishonesty against the officer. Through persuasive and cost-effective briefing and argument, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully refuted each of these challenges and obtained a decision by the trial court upholding all of the City Council’s determinations, including the ultimate separation of the officer’s employment. In so doing, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully defended the significant legal right of the City Council to review and control the conduct of the personnel who will comprise its police force and serve the public interests in its community.
    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a luxury transportation company in two separate lawsuits filed by former employees in an attempt to collect allegedly unpaid commissions. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith quickly obtained all relevant documents related to the claims, evaluated the merit of the claims, and was able to negotiate independent settlements for a fraction of the original claims, without the client incurring any significant legal expense.
    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a limited liability company in litigation brought by an employee who claimed his internal recruiter position was wrongfully eliminated when the company outsourced its recruiting. The employee’s complaint alleged race discrimination and failure to prevent race discrimination under FEHA, retaliation, wrongful termination in violation of public policy, and intentional infliction of emotion distress. By way of a motion for summary judgment, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith knocked out the two race discrimination causes of action. This matter was successfully resolved prior to trial at mediation for an amount approximately forty percent of the plaintiff’s settlement demand that was funded completely by our client’s insurance carrier.
    • Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a large manufacturer in litigation brought by an employee who claimed he was terminated because of his disability and in retaliation for his taking leave under the Family Medical Care Leave Act. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully deposed plaintiff and conducted written discovery to obtain all the necessary facts to prepare a motion for summary judgment. Based on the facts and arguments it was including in its motion, Bergman & Dacey, Inc. negotiated a settlement for less than fifteen percent of the demand plaintiff made at mediation.
  • Recent Results (July 2011)

    Posted July 15, 2011 By in Recent Results With | No Comments Recent Results (July 2011)

    The results mentioned are representative and do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.

    CONSTRUCTION AND FACILITIES LITIGATION

    1. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith settled four lawsuits pending in four different counties between a subcontractor and a general contractor on four park projects. Three months into the litigation, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith recommended mediation before an experienced public works construction mediator agreed to by both parties. While the subcontractor was seeking in excess of $500,000.00, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith narrowed down the four lawsuits to two key issues: (1) the enforceability of an “offset clause”; and (2) the enforceability of a “consequential damages clause.” Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully convinced all involved that both clauses were enforceable. As a result, the matters settled very favorably for approximately 12% of the alleged damages.

    2. Representing a telecommunications subcontractor on two separate major university projects against the general contractors and their payment bond sureties, Bergman and Dacey, Inc. recently recovered over $4,000,000.00 for its client. Each projects’ plans and specifications were so deficient that the general contractor and subcontractor could not adhere to the subcontracts’ change order provisions and maintain the schedule. Based on advice from Bergman Dacey Goldsmith, the subcontractor proceeded “under protest” and documented each change as best as possible under the circumstances. When the general contractor refused to pay at the end of each job, litigation commenced. The theory of recovery was: amendment of the subcontracts based on the circumstances and conduct of the parties. While the general contractor argued that oral modifications of the subcontracts were prohibited, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith established that the general contractor’s conduct and directions, memorialized in writing by the subcontractor, and the damage documentation supported “constructive change orders” entitling the subcontractor to recovery. After six mediation sessions, Bergman and Dacey, Inc.’s client received the $4,000,000.00 settlement.

    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a school district client in contract litigation filed by a construction management firm. There were countervailing claims of breach of contract valued together at millions of dollars. The construction management firm sought recovery of unpaid general conditions costs and other sums, including prejudgment interest. The school district sought recovery from the construction management firm of sums paid under the contract and for damages for failure to perform. Using in part a settlement from the construction management firm’s insurance carrier, this matter was settled prior to trial at a fraction of the school district’s potential exposure, resulting in substantial savings to the school district.

    4. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a public entity client as a defendant in a multi-party litigation matter. This matter involved a multi-million dollar construction project. After months of intense negotiations with the plaintiffs, the matter was settled for a small fraction of the amount of exposure that the client would have had if the matter proceeded to trial.

    BUSINESS LITIGATION

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was retained by a City to defend it against allegations of wrongdoing pursuant to the provisions of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, and more specifically, allegations that it improperly denied a national wireless carrier the right to erect a 60-foot monopalm wireless transmission tower on private property within City limits. In conjunction with retaining a renowned wireless expert to opine on the City’s chances of prevailing, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith negotiated a compromise whereby several aesthetic aspects of the transmission tower were improved over the originally proposed model. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith negotiated the City’s dismissal from the federal action without the City paying the wireless carrier any money to vastly improve the quality and appearance of this wireless facility.

    REAL ESTATE/ ENVIRONMENTAL

    Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a Fortune 100 client in the sale of a commercial real estate site that had environmental issues. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith worked with the client to successfully sell the property and remove all environmental issues. During escrow for the sale of the property, a disgruntled adjacent landowner filed a lis pendens against our client’s property. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was quickly able to have the lis pendens removed so that the sale of the property was able to close without delay.

    LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION

    1. In a superior court case addressing issues having the potential to impact several of our client’s other teacher dismissal proceedings, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith successfully defended a large school district against a petition for writ of mandate (Code of Civil Procedure section 1085) seeking to compel the school district to pay attorneys’ fees under Education Code section 44944(e), Government Code section 800, and Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5 after the school district voluntarily dismissed an administrative proceeding against a teacher prior to the hearing. The teacher argued that the Accusation and Statement of Charges against him were false, and that the school district’s dismissal of the underlying proceeding demonstrated that it was liable to the teacher for his attorneys’ fees under multiple statutes. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith drafted a persuasive opposition on not only the writ petition’s substantive points, but also to counter the teacher’s submissions of evidence and request to have school district employees appear in person to testify at the writ hearing. The trial court sided with Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s position on all issues, ordered that the school district employees need not testify, and denied the teacher’s petition following a hearing on the writ. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith thereby obtained a favorable result for our client on the merits, while at the same time ensuring that its employees were not inconvenienced by having to prepare for and attend the hearing or be cross-examined.

    2. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith defended a large manufacturing company in an employment lawsuit brought by one of its employees, who sued the company after he failed to return to work following the expiration of a leave of absence. The employee was still technically employed by the company. After Bergman Dacey Goldsmith had responded to written discovery and successfully defended its client’s deposition, the employee’s attorney approached Bergman Dacey Goldsmith with a settlement demand. After several proposals were exchanged, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith was able to settle the case for less than half of the employee’s initial demand; the settlement terms included the employee’s voluntary resignation from the company.

    3. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented an international currency exchange service company in an action brought by a former employee alleging various forms of discrimination and harassment, in addition to a wrongful termination claim. After evaluating the pertinent facts of the case, and having crafted meticulous discovery responses to the former employee’s counsel, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith negotiated a stay of depositions so that the parties could attend mediation before incurring additional litigation fees and costs. During the mediation, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith’s navigation of the applicable law, coupled with the skill of an outstanding mediator, resulted in a resolution of the matter for a mere fraction of the fees and costs that would have been incurred had this matter proceeded to trial.

    4. Bergman Dacey Goldsmith represented a privately-owned transportation services company in an action brought by a former employee alleging various wage and hour claims, in addition to allegations of whistleblower retaliation and wrongful termination. After evaluating the pertinent facts of the case, and having received nine separate sets of comprehensive discovery requests from the former employee’s counsel, Bergman Dacey Goldsmith negotiated an effective discovery stay so that the parties could attend mediation before incurring significant litigation fees and costs. The early mediation resulted in a resolution acceptable to all parties for a fraction of the cost of litigation.

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